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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  April 5, 2014 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT

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the volcanoe spewed six miles of ash into the sky. those are the headlines. "techknow" is up next. to discover facial recognition. for updates around the world go to aljazeera.com. >> this is "techknow," a show about innovations that can change lives. we will explore the intersection of hardware and humanity and we are doing it inique ways. this is a show about science by scientists. let's check out our team of hardcore nerds. dr. shay soma are. a, a mechanical engineer. facial recognition technology. it can fight crime by spotting a face in a crowd, but can it keep you out of the club? >> my picture is in the gallery. >> so is all of your information. >> marita davison specializes in ecologist coming. >> it looks like an egg, cooks like an egg. the plant based protein
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challenging the chicken. will it pass the "techknow" taste test? kyle hill is an engineer. the solar power revolution. now, the plant that still works even when the sun doesn't shine. i am phil torres, an entymologist. >> that's our team. let's do some science. guys, welcome to another very exciting episode of "techknow." i am phil torres. now, we are all relatively familiar with facial recognition technology, but there has been some pretty cool advances recently. >> these algorith imdz were used
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by the military for counter terrorism and crime in casess w by the military for counter terrorism and crime in cases. as i found out, this technology has a much wider application. let's take a look. >> you can't hide your face. you have always had a privacy face with your face being out there and about. you were counting on people recognizing it. not a computer. >> facial recognition technology was first popularized by shows of law and order special victims unit. >> we magnified the photo. facial recognition software does the rest? >> congratulations. you are not our perp. >> scenes like this are playing out in police departments around the current tree. facial recognition is helping everyone from cops to nightclub bouncers put names to faces sglfrnz. >> come up to our door, our main office, the lab, and we have access control, face recognition going on here. i am just going to go up and look through the window. there is a camera there that will look at me and try to match
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me in the database. there it goes. >> wow. >> let me in. i am not going to let you in. >> really? >> yeah. you have to see if you can get in on your own? >> i will never be let in. i made it. >> the ceo of anametrics a company based in conway, new hampshire. >> what is facial recognition? >> the idea a computer can find a face and try to determine who that face is by searching a database. >> so is there a basic kind of concept of how it matches one face to another? >> there are mathematical algorithims. it starts with finding a face in a digital image and determining features of the face like your eyes. once it finds the features of the face, it builds a template
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instead of numbers that represents a number of qualities in the face including geometry, distances and including color or illumination and it's the template that's created that's used to do the search. >> along with other forms of bio metric identification like iris scanning, facial recognition technology was first widely used by u.s. military in iraq and afghanistan. >> we started 100% with the department of defense. right away, we got funneled to the intelligence agencies. that was very helpful if our development as we productized the technology. >> it built applications for domestic law enforcement. it got a range of products from smart phone apsps or and criminal courts in surveillancefootage. one product is designed to help investigators sift through video footage for faces. >> we don't have time to watch a 30 minute video. this, you just run it through.
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it will do that for you. so here, i can show you that there was two frames, one at 15 15.7 seconds and 1 at 16:03 where you were picked up. >> the software created a come p positionit image of my face. >> that one image, we send to an id system and got back a match that we can see in that little label on that right here it. >> wow they found me? >> it's going to pull up the top 12 people in the gallery and happens to be you as the highest ranging scorer. >> ultimately, it has to be a human that makes the final call on whether or not there is a match. >> a computer really never gets an exact match. it gets the most similar template by statistics. >> there are also other limitations to the technology. they work best when the submitted image is evenly lit and fully frontal. anametrics help develop software to address this.
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>> here is a photo but for face recognition, this will be a problem. >> because it's angled? >> we find a couple of core markers, the eyes, nose and chin. when things look good, we generate a 3-d model. >> wow. >> a 3-d surface. you can display the wire mesh, see how it fits in the 2-d plane over here we did that. what we would like to do is then normalize it. >> from a pretty obscure picture, you can create a face on an image and then start searching data basis? >> yes. >> for the person you are looking for? >> the software allows investigators to super impose two faces in order to compare features and determine if they are indeed the same person. we tried it out using photos of myself against someone i resemble. my sister. >> can you determine whether i actually have the same nose as my sister? >> i think you do. here we can draw across and it
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almost looks like you guys have the same nose. >> we do. yeah. i am going to actually tell her that it's official now. we both have the same nose. she is tease can me that my nose is big er. >> it's popping up from airports to retail ven use. it can make a difference into whether you get in the your favorite club. >> i am in a club outside of boston where people are lining up to get in. just like with any other establishment that serves alcohol, they all have to be ided. but this club has an added layer of security. they are calling it the biometric bouncer. mike boresso has been running night clubs for 30 years. he came up with using facial recognition as club's entrance? >> we are catching different angles and things and cataloguing them into a database with their id. when they come in again, if we
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decide we want to look for them if they are a vip or don't have id, we can identify them. >> it's not just vips that the system can help keep tabs on. >> you know, say someone had gotten into a quarrel of some sort, you know, we escort them out. we can go into the log and say on this date, so-and-so had this, you know, incident. so next time when they come in, you know, we can give a warning and say, hey, this time, you know, take it a little easy. >> our al gorithims are using a perfect i amage, en with their head up or down. >> one burning question: how do i become a vip on the system? >> we will have to enroll you. ♪ >> you have already been enrolled in the system. so now we do a face search. >> okay. >> so my picture is in the gallery. >> your picture is in here, and so is your -- all of your information. and now, it pops up with your
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picture, your information is here, and all of the other things, your history, how many times you have been in the play, how many times you have been en rolled. >> is it possible to search the people that came here that i look similar to? >> i will try it now. we will see what the face search brings up. the top 10 matches for the code of your face? >> they are all men. great. >> you got my nephew? >> that really kind of highlights just how kind of xutational this is because it's really ca geometry and matching geometry. >> yes. computational this is b it's really a geometry and matching geometry. >> yes. it breaks it down and finding it in the database. you can go through millions of pictures in an instance. >> my mind started spinning with the potential applications and implications of the technology. it made me think about how quickly facial recognition is changing what it means to be a face in the crowd.
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i have a couple of concerns. one is potentially too much oversight of following where people are going by the government. but then, also, people can get kind of creepy. ? >> there have been a lot of talk about privacy when it comes to this technology. >> but how much error is there in those calculations, i guess from 2 d to 3-d and back? >> right now, they are able, especially with crime to, you know, find best matches but it goes hand-in-hand with other technology because the more advanced cameras are, the more advanced facial recognition becomes. >> absolutely. >> it's kind of like technology having to work in tandem. >> how does it work with, say, facial hair? if i were to commit a crime, should i shave my beard? >> it is about key points on your face. whether you are wearing sunglasses or you changed your hair, it will still recognize you in theory, but again, the technology still has to advance even further. >> now, marita, you got to check out something that is apparently
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quite edible? >> the incredible edible eg g may be no longer. i got to check out egg alternatives. i will tell you about it after the break. >> we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation by following us on twitter and at al jazeera ameri --aj.com. -- aljazeera.com. with the most interesting people of our time. >> thinking differently is actualy punished... is public education actually failing america? >> education is the biggest investment we make in our futures. >> but what are we really teaching our kids? >> i think it's a catastrophe that so many school disticts have cut arts programs back... >> could his reforms lead to happier, more fufilled lives. >> schools need to encourage the development of imagination... >> sir ken robinson talk to al jazeera only on al jazeera america real reporting that brings you the world. giving you a real global perspective like no other can. real reporting from around the
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marita, you looked at an artificial egg. tell me about this? >> i did. alternatives to animal protein are kind of the thing these days for environmental, health, ethical reasons. i got to check out a company called hampton creek foods that is basically trying to replace the function of an egg in the kitchen. they may be a game changer when it comes to breakfast. let's check it out. e eggs are the ultimate super food,edes, palked with newtrients and proteins. on average, americans eat more than 76.5 billion eggs per year. you can have it any way you want, scrambled, poached, hard-boiled or over easy. this is what most people think of when they think of an egg. breakfast. the egg is more than just breakfast. it's the ultimate multi-tasker in the kitchen. >> it aerates it, brings oil and
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water together. >> the founder of hampton creek, josh tetrick is obvious setsed with the egg's versatility? >> it makes sure your cookie doesn't crumble. it will gels. it is pervasive. it's all over the place. >> that's one of the reasons why he thinks he can change the world by recreating the chicken egg. >> when you peel back the on yun of the chicken egg, you see some strange things. you see it's a part of a system that's responsible for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, part of a system that sees avian flu pop-ups around the world. it uses a lot of water. it felt like a good sort of lever that we could pull to bring the cost of food down to bring the sustainability of food up and make food a little bit healthier. >> when it comes to resources, egg production is an energy hog. it takes 39 calories of fossil energy to produce one calorie of
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egg protein, very close to beef, but the ratio for plant protein is about 2 to 1. for tetric, that meant the key to building a better egg was to find the right plant to replace it. >> our chicken egg is something that has 23 discrete functions. a part of what we do is to search for plants that are better than the chicken egg in doing all of those things? >> tetric has assembled a team to help him find the right plants. >> we are on a search and discovery mission. >> the process starts with by 0 chemist josh klein. >> we are trying to get as many of the world's plants as possible and find those that have proteins that function the way egg proteins do. >> e musclmullcification. >> start forming the film around the oil droplets.
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>> one of the ways his team tests protein from each plant is a process called gelelectroformesis? >> you load the proceedtinal sample that might have 100 different proteins in it. there is sort of an electric current flowed through and that forces the proteins through the gel and they separate by their molecular weight. the small ones zip through and the large ones get stuck. >> it's mixed with a blue dye. the result looks like this. the lanes with more blue have more protein. what you find here, how does that translate? >> this would just be one test among many tests that we use in order to draw inferences about how these proteins are affected by the conditions that they experience in different food s reci recipes. >> how much are you interfacing with the food science folks and ultimately the chefs that are cooking things up and trying things in the kitchen? >> all the time. we will have days where we come up with an interesting protein and by the end of the day, the
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chef will have tried it out. >> this is our egg mixed with water. >> chef chris jones overseas the process of taking the plant from protein to product. >> about 200 tries, we found a pea, a yellow split pea that worked really well as an e muscle fire. from there, we started doing iterations on flavor, test, texture and really started going in to can we make this a viable mayo product? and the answer is yes. >> just mayo is the first product hampton creek has made available to consumers? >> the market is big. the opportunity to have an impact financially, socially, environmentally is large. >> the proof is in the mayo. ? >> not the way i usually like to eat mayo. for you. >> for testing purposes. >> all right. >> i can't tell the difference. not for real. wow. >> that's good. >> just mayo is just the
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beginning. i also got to taste test some of the products in the pipeline. >> what we will show you here is the world's first plant-based scrambled egg you don't crack it? >> we do not crack it, no. what we are looking for on this same kind of flow as you would get. >> yeah. >> you can see that reacts just like an egg when it starts, flat on the pan. we will start to gain volume here? >> how does it compare to scrambling a real egg? >> we are coming along. as you can see. structure. >> it kookdz quick. right? >> they are working on texture, the process of getting the flavor right is still to come. for now, a little seasoned salt is needed to get the full effect. >> that's when we see the difference, when where the egg fav fliefr comes around? >> if i closed my eyes and tasted it with the salt, i probably wouldn't tell the
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difference. so what else do we have to try? >> i think they safety best for last. cookie dough? >> i love this stuff. >> that will blow your mind then. ? >> well, that's delicious. >> the reaction that josh tetric drinks can change the world. >> i think people are going to i wanted up shifting because they care about the world. our theory of change is when on the merits to create a model that's so nooufsh it makes a not so good thing entirely obsolete? >> you will have to wrangle this from me because that's good. >> you come bearing gifts? >> i tried these in the kitchen. but you guys, it's your turn now. >> all right. i will try the chipoltle stuff here. >> really good. >> it's entirely plant-based. one could say that the cholesterol properties are a
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little bit less, perhaps even a little bit more protein-packed. >> i like it. sol from alternative protein sources to alternative energy sources, kyle what do you have for us next? >> next, i will show you guys how old technology can do something really new and in0 survey, create solar power even at night. >> all right. we will check that out next. >> evey saturday, join us for exclusive, revealing, and suprizing talks with the most interesting people of our time. >> thinking differently is actualy punished... is public education actually failing america? >> education is the biggest investment we make in our futures. >> but what are we really teaching our kids? >> i think it's a catastrophe that so many school disticts have cut arts programs back... >> could his reforms lead to happier, more fufilled lives. >> schools need to encourage the development of imagination... >> sir ken robinson talk to al jazeera only on al jazeera america
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♪ guys, welcome back to "techknow.." i am phil torres. so, kyle, you went to vegas to look at some pretty cool energy sources. >> right. so, a we pollute the earth, people are going to want to move more toward green energy sources. i weren't to the deserts in nevada to check out a 600 foot tower with 10,000 mirrors and a bunch of molten salt. let's check it out. >> with its glitz, glamor and endless gambling, los angeles sits at the crossroads of conspicuous consumption and limited resources. 90% is non-renewable sources. but they are betting on a new energy source thanks to the sun.
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in the nevada desert, there is no shortage of two things: land and sunshine. the perfect combination for solar reserves to set up the first of its kind, solar and storage generating plant. >> every once in a while you will read an article that is if only you could store energy. you can do that actually. we can do that now. >> before the crescent dune downs project, the biggest challenges were storage and scaleability. using molten salt as a storage medium, solar reserve found a way to capture and hold solar power on a commercial scale with a $1 billion loan from the u.s. department of energy, solar reserve cracked the code on efficient solar energy production storage. let's start at the top. specifically, a 600-foot tall tower. here at solar reserves dunes project, there are uses
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thousands of mirrors and salt to provide consumers with clean energy from a near infinite source, the sun. >> what you see around us are step mirrors. they are tracking mirrors. they track the sun. and concentrate the sun's injury under the top of the tower that we have here. >> it's like taking a giant mag of any flying glass and direct the sun's energy to 1 point? >> yes. >> accurately tracking the sun here is more involved than my childhood experiments. >> and these move just a little bit, you know, every few minutes. they move a little bit just to continue to track the sun to make sure we are accurately pointing the sun's beam at the top of the tower. >> at the heart of this new technology is momenten salt, an environmentally friendly mixture of potassium nitrate. it is used as a heat storage medium in the power plant. >> that allows us to store the massive amount of injury in
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these hot salt tanks. >> differs from any other power plant. this is the first of its kind, of its size in the world which is capable of doing this. >> here is how it works: more than 10,000 tracking mirrors called helio stats will reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a large heat exchanger called a receiver. molten salt is heated to over 1,000 degrees fahrenheit and flows through the piping, after passing through the receiver, the molt en salt flows through the piping into a thermal storage tank where the energy is stored. when electricity is required, day or night, the high temperature molten salt flows into the steam generator along with water generating steam. after steam is used to drive the turbine engine, it is condensed back to water and returned to the holding tank. the result: a 100% renewable power plant with zero harmful emissions or waste with an infinite power source. >> this plant will put out net output of 110 megawatts. that's enough to power 70,000
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homes here in nevada. >> william allen has an important job, that that will likely require a lot of windex. >> i think the largest part of our duties will be washing the mirrors. in addition to that, i mean, they have computers that run the elevation and the asmath control. there are bearings doing reflectivity tests. >> you are like the doctor for 10,000. >> 10,347. >> from our perspective, this and i think the industry will agree that this technology really kind of leapfrogs the u.s. into a leadership role in technology. >> so when you are walking around outside, we saw the history of what started this town. we saw giant mining equipment. and now, we see history being made on the other side of town. right? >> that's really what our history is about. and now, we are moving into that next phase and we are just mining another natural resource, which is the sun.
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>> why salt? why does that work? >> because salt can hold a lot of heat. we want a liquid to do this but a liquid that can hold heat energy inside it. salt happens to do that. >> i love the concept of innovation but going back to basics. >> right. >> what percentage of americans electric cat output does that site produce? >> it's producing megawatts. producing about 25% or one fourth of what the hoover dam can produce. it's a serious injury sour source -- energy source. i took some pictures while i was out there. it is incredible. right now, i am 60 stories above the ground. you are just looking out on 10,000 mirrors, all focusing on one point, about 20 feet above my head. >> don't you guys want to see more of a behind-the-scenes look of us in the field check united states out on it. umblr. thank you for sharing your fascinating stories. look forward to see what you are coming up with next time. check us out neck weeks here on "techknow." >> these stories and go behind
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the scenes at aljazeera.com/techknow. follow our experts on twitter, facebook, google+ and more. ♪ >> [ ♪ music ]. >> kids, until they go to school have an appetite for learning. >> creativity and education expert sir ken robinson says we have to reengineer our way we tech our students. ken robinson said we have to recognise their talents. >> to be
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